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LEGO Robotics - Applying STEM in the Classroom

Robotics Launch Page

Halliburton and the Texas Tech University T-STEM Center in collaboration with the Whitacre College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department provided the opportunity for teachers to participate in a project-based learning curriculum centered on the 2012 Get Excited About Robotics (GEAR) competition challenge. During this five-day workshop, teachers began to build a solid foundation for moving robotics into more mainstreamed science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculums. This website includes the curriculum used during the teacher workshop as well as serves as a basis for teachers to create their own LEGO Robotics programs.

Throughout this curriculum, students investigate the components of LEGO robotics: LEGO Mindstorms NXT brick, LEGO Mindstorms Education software, design journaling, robot construction, programming and problem solving. This curriculum is designed for hands-on learning and the activities can be modified to fit any grade level. This curriculum provides teachers with a basis for incorporating project based learning into interdisciplinary technology-driven instruction in K-12 classrooms. By using this approach, teachers also build on previous robotic trainings and discover ways to get more out of robotics by making it a part of the classroom STEM curriculum.

Finally, ethics is incorporated into the curriculum allowing discussion of some of the ethical issues raised in the development and use of robots. Discussions touch upon the ethical dimensions of software programming, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the social impacts of robots.

Robotics Content

Robotics Lessons and Activities

The activities and lessons serve as a backbone to a robotics curriculum and provides teachers a basic scope and sequence for leading students through the exploration of the Mindstorm system. When used in the classroom, the lessons and activities listed in this section provide opportunities for students to apply the knowledge and skills of construction and programming as well as providing students the opportunity to explore STEM concepts.

Robotics Resources

Robotics Competitions and Resources

The resources in this section include a listing of robotoics competitions and a variety of construction designs and challenge activities. In addition, several resource pages are included on how to write your own design challenges. Other resources included give a more in-depth knowledge of elements and other specifics of the NXT system. Finally a list of books, websites, and multimedia sources are included that can be used to supplement a robotics classroom program.

Robotics Professional Development

Robotics Professional Development

The TTU T-STEM Center offers professional development workshops in LEGO robotics for both novices and teachers with experience wanting advanced knowledge and skills. Teachers will leave the workshop prepared to start a robotics program at the campus or district level with lesson plans designed to teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts with an inquiry-based approach.